When you have a tickle or feeling of something in your throat, the natural reaction is to try and alleviate this feeling. Clearing your throat can move a piece of food or an irritation to the throat, but if it happens often, it can be a sign of a health condition. If you are experiencing frequent throat clearing, it may be time to see an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist for diagnosis. Julie Zweig, MD Integrative Sleep & ENT provides diagnosis and treatment for throat conditions at our facility in Alpharetta, GA.
Causes of Throat Irritation
It is natural to react when you feel something in your throat. The body is designed to protect the airway to the lungs and anything irritating the throat is considered a threat. Most of time, the irritation is from mucus or phlegm that is in the throat. However, there are other possible causes of throat problems that result in frequent or chronic clearing or coughing.
The most common cause of throat clearing is due to drainage from nasal conditions. There is constant mucus flowing down from the nasal passage into the throat, but certain conditions can increase mucus. Post nasal drip occurs with colds, allergies and sinus infections, resulting in excess mucus flowing into the throat. Treatment for the underlying nasal condition can control mucus formation and post nasal drip that irritates the throat.
If you have a feeling of something in your throat, it may be due to a throat condition. There are many possible issues that occur in the tissues, structure and nerves of the throat that can feel uncomfortable. Some throat and gastroesophageal conditions that can irritate the throat include:
- Acid reflux
- Structural abnormalities
- Neurological issues
- Tic disorders
- Medication reaction
- Throat cancer
When throat clearing becomes annoying or continues for days or weeks, it may be time to consult a throat specialist. There may be an underlying condition that is contributing to the irritation of the throat. To schedule a consultation and exam, contact us at Julie Zweig, MD Integrative Sleep & ENT. Call our office in Alpharetta, GA, to book your appointment with Dr. Zweig.